Rewilding at Dundreggan, Glen Moriston
From the 'Rewilding Britain' website
In the Highlands rewilding is breathing life back into Dundreggan’s disappearing woodland, bringing golden eagles, new jobs and an incredible experience for visitors.
Once covering much of Scotland, Caledonian forest clings on in only a few tiny remnants. Deforestation for timber and farming means that more than 90% of this ancient habitat has been lost. So when rewilding charity Trees for Life bought the 4,000-hectare sporting estate near Loch Ness in 2008, it marked a new chapter for the future of the area – not only for its struggling woodlands but for the local community.
Thanks to Trees for Life’s successful reduction of deer browsing, to encourage natural woodland regeneration, complemented by tree planting, Dundreggan now supports 1,000 hectares of native forest and more than 4,000 species of plants and animals.
In 2020, golden eagles bred at the estate for the first time in 40 years, with an eagle pair successfully rearing a chick. There’s no doubt that the estate’s developing woodland habitat – home to an increasing number of black grouse, a key food source for eagles – played a large part in attracting them.
Wilding in West Sussex - an inspiring story
In 'Wilding' (2018), Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.
This highly-acclaimed and very readable book is available to borrow from Highland libraries or can be bought online from Waterstones for £9.99 plus postage.
Rewilding in Scotland - the Alladale project
Max Robinson, of Rewilding Scotland, has drawn our attention to an article about and interview with Paul Lister, owner of the Alladale Estate, inland from Ardgay, whose proposal to reintroduce wolves in a fenced enclosure on the estate, in addition to other more modest rewilding aims, has caused considerable controversy.
Unattributed article on Rewilding Scotland website 'The Wolf Man Of Scotland' .
Interview with Paul Lister by Doug Wilson, senior biologist on the Wolf Project at Yellowstone National Park.
There are a number of other interesting items, including stories about lynx and beavers in the UK, on the discussion page of the website at www.rewilding.scot .
And there's lots more interesting stuff on Rewilding Britain's website at www.rewildingbritain.org.uk
Reforestation in Norway: showing what’s possible in Scotland and beyond
From Rewilding Britain www.rewildingbritain.org.uk
Scotland and Norway suffered large-scale deforestation over centuries but over the last 100 years the trees have been returning to Norway. It could be happening in Scotland too.
Some people think that the reason there are no trees growing across great swathes of Scotland is that they can't grow in these places – it’s too wet, it’s too windy, the soil is too thin. But they’re wrong. Look at the landscape in Scotland today and you’ll see a diverse mix of trees hanging on the edges of streams and gullies and rock faces. They’ve survived for centuries in extreme fringe locations where grazing mouths can’t reach them.
The forests of Scotland could return – if deer numbers were reduced to a level the land can support, if land wasn’t burned to favour shooting birds, and if livestock was managed alongside woodland as it is in many other countries.
Reforesting is a part of rewilding. Rewilding is about dedicating areas of land to nature, where nature decides the outcome. We can see what that might mean for Scotland by looking across the water to southwest Norway – an area almost identical to Scotland in climate and geology.
[The further information about reforestation in Norway originally linked to from here is no longer available, but see above for information about a rewilding project in Scotland.]
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